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Large distribution center coming to Fairburn to impact Hwy. 74/I-85

It’s coming and it’s going to be big, both in terms of sheer size and the amount of truck traffic it will generate. Currently under construction near Ga. Highway 74 in Fairburn is what will become a 1.5 million square-foot Clorox Company distribution center that is expected to open in early 2011. The center will generate 161 vehicles per hour during peak traffic times.

The distribution center is located on Creekwood Road, essentially an extension of Oakley Industrial Boulevard on the west side of Hwy. 74. Located on approximately 45 acres, the project was approved by the city and through the state’s Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process. When completed, the distribution center will total 1,495,000 square feet.

Fairburn City Administrator Jim Williams said Clorox is expected to begin initial operations in early 2011. The DRI report filed with the Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs noted that the center’s estimated worth at build-out will be $50 million. The estimated local tax revenues from the distribution center will total $112,500.

“This is a major addition to the tax base at a time when the economy is tanking,” Williams said. “And Fairburn is going in the opposite direction. We’re growing and prospering. And with the construction that’s underway, we’re already seeing an enormous impact on the community.”

In terms of the number of jobs that will be created at Clorox, Williams would only say that those numbers were undetermined but significant.

Once completed and at peak times of travel the distribution center will generate an expected 161 vehicles per hour, according to the DRI report.

The Clorox facility is not the only distribution center to populate the Oakley Industrial area in recent times. The Smucker’s Company last year began operations in a 600,000 square-foot spec distribution center at Oakley Industrial and Bohannon Road, also west of Hwy. 74. And on the east side of Hwy. 74, LTI Industries relocated to Fairburn in 2010 after a fire damaged its Newnan operation.

Those using Hwy. 74 to access I-85 are all too familiar with the traffic congestion that occurs during morning and afternoon commutes. Fairburn, along with area cities, counties and businesses several years ago formed what came to be known as the Tri-County Alliance to address the traffic flow needs of Hwy. 74 and other transit points along I-85 that impact South Fulton, Fayette and Coweta counties.

Central to the work by the alliance was the request to the Georgia Dept. of Transportation that the Hwy. 74 interchange be re-vamped, that a half-diamond interchange be constructed at Ga. Highway 92 and that a full interchange be constructed at Gullat Road.

A half-diamond interchange at Hwy. 92 would offer significant traffic relief for both Fayette and Fulton commuters, while an interchange at Gullat Road would serve a large portion of the truck traffic from Oakley Industrial, including the new Clorox facility situated less than half-mile away, and from the CSX Intermodal on the north side of Hwy. 74 near Bohannon Road.

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